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To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves;
Nor at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
For you he lives; and you alone shall share
His last affection, as his early care.
Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.
Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
But what should most excite a mutual flame,
Your rural cares and pleasures are the same.
To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
(A pleasing offering when 'tis made by you,)
He values these; but yet (alas!) complains,
That still the best and dearest gift remains.
Not the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
With that ripe red th' autumnal sun bestows;
Nor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies;
You, only you, can move the god's desire:
Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind;
So may no frost, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!"
This when the various god had urg'd in vain,
He straight assum'd his native form again;
Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears,
As when through clouds th' emerging Sun appears,
And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day.
Force he prepar'd, but check'd the rash design:
For when, appearing in a form divine,
The nymph surveys him, and beholds the grace
Of charming features, and a youthful face;
In her soft breast consenting passions move,
And the warm maid confess'd a mutual love.
TO H. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE.
the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice, of his dispensations. V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection in the moral world, which is not in the natural. VI. The unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he demands the perfection of the angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the brutes; though, to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable. VII. That throughout the whole visible world, an universal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to man. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, reason; that reason alone countervails all the other faculties. VIII. How much farther this order and subordination of living creatures may extend above and below us; were any part of which broken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation, must be destroyed. IX. The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a desire. X. The consequence of all the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state.
AWAKE, my St. John! leave all meaner things
To low ambition and the pride of kings.
Let us (since life can little more supply
Than just to look about us, and to die)
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man;
A mighty maze! but not without a plan:
A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot;
Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Together let us beat this ample field,
Try what the open, what the covert yield;
The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
Eye Nature's walks, shoot Folly as it flies,
And catch the manners living as they rise:
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can;
But vindicate the ways of God to man.
I. Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RE- See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs, What other planets circle other suns, What varied Being peoples every star, May tell why Heaven has made us as we are. Of man in the abstract.-I. That we can judge only But of this frame the bearings and the ties, with regard to our own system, being ignorant of The strong connexions, nice dependencies, the relations of systems and things. II. That man Gradations just, has thy pervading soul is not to be deemed imperfect, but a being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general order of things, and conformable to ends and relations to him unknown. III. That it is partly upon his ignorance of future events, and partly upon the hope of a future state, that Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind? all his happiness in the present depends. IV. The First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretend- Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less? ing to more perfection, the cause of man's error Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made and misery. The impiety of putting himself in Taller or weaker than the weeds they shade?
Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole?
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree,
And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?
II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove?
Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,
That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
Where all must full or not coherent be,
And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Then, in the scale of reasoning life, 'tis plain,
There must be, somewhere, such a rank as man:
And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
IV. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such;
Say, here he gives too little, there too much :
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone engross not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the god of God.
In Pride, in reasoning Pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel:
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call
May, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, though labor'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain:
In God's, one single can its end produce;
Yet serves to second too some other use.
So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
"Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
When the proud steed shall know why man re- And who but wishes to invert the laws
His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains;
When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god:
Then shall man's pride and dullness comprehend
His actions', passions', being's, use and end;
Why doing, suffering, check'd, impell'd; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault;
Say, rather, Man's as perfect as he ought:
His knowledge measur'd to his state and place;
His time a moment, and a point his space.
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
What matter, soon or late, or here, or there?
The blest to-day is as completely so,
As who began a thousand years ago.
Of order, sins against th' Eternal Cause.
V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine,
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, "
For me kind Nature wakes her genial power;
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower;
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew;
Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew
For me, health gushes from a thousand springs;
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings;
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My footstool Earth, my canopy the skies."
But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend,
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep!
III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of" No," 'tis replied, "the first Almighty Cause
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar,
Wait the great teacher, Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor❜d mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler Heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land hehold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
Acts not by partial, but by general laws;
Th' exceptions few; some change since all begun:
If the great end be human happiness,
And what created perfect?" Why then man?
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less!
As much that end a constant course requires
Of showers and sun-shine, as of man's desires;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline;
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning forms,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms;
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
From pride, from pride our very reasoning springs:
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind!
Account for moral as for natural things:
Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right, is to submit.
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
That never passion discompos'd the mind.
But all subsists by elemental strife;
And passions are the elements of life.
The general order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in man.
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he
And, little less than angel, would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
Say what their use, had he the powers of all?
Nature to these without profusion, kind,
The proper organs, proper powers assign'd;
Each seeming want compensated of course,
Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
All in exact proportion to the state;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not blest with all?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No powers of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics given,
Tinspect a mite, not comprehend the Heaven?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at every pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?
If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heaven had left him still
The whispering zephyr, and the purling rill!
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends,
The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends:
Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass:
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam;
Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious on the tainted green;
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles through the vernal wood!
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line:
In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew!
How Instinct varies in the grovelling swine,
Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
"Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier!
For ever separate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and Reflection how allied!
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide!
And middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee?
The powers of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all these powers in one?
VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this
Al! matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high! progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing.-On superior powers
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd :]
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike..
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
All this dread order break-for whom? for thee?
Vile worm-oh madness! pride! impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another in this general frame:
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing mind of all ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul; That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same; Great in the Earth, as in th' ethereal frame; Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart, As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt seraph that adores and burns: To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good.
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
I. The business of man not to pry into God, but to study himself. His middle nature: his powers and frailties. The limits of his capacity. II. The two principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their end the same. III. The passions, and their use. The predominant passion, and its force. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes. providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue. IV. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the
things separate and evident: what is the office of Man, but for that, no action could attend, V. How odious vice in itself, and how And but for this, were active to no end: we deceive ourselves into it. VI. That, however, Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot; the ends of Providence and general good are an- To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, swered in our passions and imperfections. How Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void. usefully these are distributed to all orders of men. Destroying others, by himself destroy'd. How useful they are to society; and to individuals, in every state, and every age of life.
I. KNOW then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning, but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much :
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides,
Most strength the moving principle requires;
Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise.
Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh;
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie:
That sees immediate good by present sense;
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng,
At best more watchful this, but that more strong;
The action of the stronger to suspend,
Reason still use, to Reason still attend.
Attention, habit, and experience gains;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains.
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More studious to divide than to unite ;
And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason split,
With all the rash dexterity of Wit.
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.
Self-love and Reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire;
But greedy that, his object would devour,
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
Go, measure Earth, weigh air, and state the tides; This taste the honey, and not wound the flower:
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule-
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Describe or fix one movement of his mind!
Who saw its fires here rise and there descend,
Explain his own beginning or his end?
Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide;
First strip off all her equipage of Pride;
Deduct what is but Vanity or dress,
Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness;
Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts
Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Then see how little the remaining sum,
Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come!
II. Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all :
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill.
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
III. Modes of Self-love the passions we may call; 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all: But since not every good we can divide, And Reason bids us for our own provide; Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair, List under Reason, and deserve her eare; Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim, Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name. In lazy apathy let Stoics boast Their virtue fix'd; 'tis fix'd as in a frost ; Contracted all, retiring to the breast; But strength of mind is exercise, not rest: The rising tempest puts in act the soul; Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, Reason the card, but Passion is the gale; Nor God alone in the still calm we find, He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. Passions, like elements, though born to fight, Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite: These 'tis enough to temper and employ; But what composes man, can man destroy ? Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road, Subject, compound them, follow her and God. Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train, Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain; These, mixt with art, and to due bounds confin'd. Make and maintain the balance of the mind; The lights and shades whose well-accorded strife Gives all the strength and color of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise: Present to grasp, and future still to find, The whole employ of body and of mind. All spread their charms, but charm not all alike; On different senses, different objects strike: Hence different passions more or less inflame, As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of Death;
The young disease, which must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its Ruling Passion came;
Each vital humor which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul:
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dangerous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen, some favorite still obey:
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can she more than tell us we are fools?
Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend ;
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong:
So, when small humors gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out.
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard:
"Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe;
A mightier power the strong direction sends,
And several men impels to several ends:
Like varying winds, by other passions tost,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense;
The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find Reason on their side.
The Eternal Art, educing good from ill, Grafts on this passion our best principle: 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd; The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And in one interest body acts with mind.
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest virtues thus from passions shoot, Wild Nature's vigor working at the root. What crops of wit and honesty appear From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude supply; Ev'n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all woman-kind; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave; Nor virtue, male or female, can we name, But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame. Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) The virtue nearest to our vice allied: Reason the bias turns to good from ill, And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
IV. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce,
In man they join to some mysterious use;
Though each by turns the other's bound invade,
As in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
That vice or virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;
"Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed:
Ask where's the north? at York, 'tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbor further gone than he :
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree;
The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;
And ev'n the best, by fits, what they despise.
"Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
For, vice or virtue, Self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a several goal;
VI. But Heaven's great view, is one, and that the whole.
That counter-works each folly and caprice;
That disappoints th' effect of every vice:
That, happy frailties to all ranks applied;
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride;
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief;
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief:
That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise,
Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise.
And build on wants, and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally
The common interest, or endear the tie.
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here;
Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,
Those joys, those loves, those interests, to resign;
Taught half by Reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Not one will change his neighbor with himself. The learn'd is happy Nature to explore, The fool is happy that he knows no more. The rich is happy in the plenty given, The poor contents him with the care of Heaven.